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SAARC summit - Pakistan isolated Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan join India in boycott

Posted Date :   28 September 2016 02:45:52 PM  

Bangladesh, Bhutan, and now Afghanistan. The Indian campaign to isolate Pakistan in the aftermath of Uri attack has worked with the three countries today confirming that they will not participate in the annual SAARC summit which is scheduled in November this year in Islamabad.
 
"Due to increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, the President of Afghanistan with his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief will be engaged, and will not be able to attend the SAARC summit," the Afghan government said in its letter to Nepal, which is the current SAARC chair.
 
India on Tuesday announced it will not attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad in November, saying that regional cooperation and terror can't go together. Pakistan has termed the boycott as "unfortunate".
 
According to diplomatic sources, in official communication sent to SAARC chair Nepal on Tuesday, the Bangladesh government said, "The growing interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by one country has created an environment which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016."
 
"Bangladesh, as the initiator of the SAARC process, remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in a more congenial atmosphere. In view of the above, Bangladesh is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad," the statement further said.
 
The Bhutan government in its statement said, "While reaffirming Bhutan's strong commitment to the SAARC process and strengthening of regional cooperation, it notes the concern of the Royal Government of Bhutan on the recent escalation of terrorism in the region, which has seriously compromised the environment for the successful holding of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016.
 
"Further, the Royal Government of Bhutan shares the concerns of some of the member countries of SAARC on the deterioration of regional peace and security due to terrorism and joins them in conveying our inability to participate in the SAARC summit, under the current circumstances," it said.
 
A SAARC summit can take place only when leaders of all member countries are present. 
 
India, the largest member of the eight-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), announced its decision to pull out hours after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned to South Block and handed over Pakistan's "proof of cross-border origin" of the September 18 Uri terror attack.
 
India has been increasing its diplomatic offensive against Pakistan over the past few days for its open backing of the Kashmir unrest and specially after the terror attack on an army camp in Uri on September 18 that left 18 soldiers dead.
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